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From Omaha, Nebraska, USA:

Our endocrinologists, who practice together and are the only pediatric endocrinologists in an area of 500,000, have had a huge increase in the number of newly diagnosed patients they are treating. It was already on the increase last year, and this year has been double last years' cases. This is not just "the increase in new diagnoses we get every autumn." Are public health epidemiologists looking at this?


Your experience of an increase in the incidence of insulin dependent diabetes has been noted worldwide.

There are many theories under investigation why the incidence of insulin dependent diabetes is increasing worldwide. Changes in the environment, diet, viruses, and immunization include possible reasons. Below are listed references from the medical literature if you wish to obtain more information:

  1. Increasing incidence of IDDM in Austrian children. A nationwide study 1979-1993. Austrian Diabetes Incidence Study Group. Schober E. Diabetes Care 18(9):1280-3, 1995 Sep.

  2. Increase in incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus among children in Finland. Tuomilehto J. Virtala E. Karvonen M. Lounamaa International Journal of Epidemiology 24(5):984-92, 1995 Oct.

  3. Exposure to superantigens as an immunogenetic explanation of type I diabetes mini-epidemics. Trucco M. LaPorte R. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism 8(1):3-10, 1995

  4. Dramatic increase in incidence of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in Western Australia [see comments]. Kelly HA. Russell MT. Jones Medical Journal of Australia 161(7):426-9, 1994 Oct 3.

  5. An epidemic of childhood diabetes in the United States? Evidence from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.Pittsburgh Diabetes Epidemiology Diabetes Care. 16(12):1606-11, 1993 Dec.

  6. Decline of mumps antibodies in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic children and a plateau in the rising incidence of type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia 36(12):1303-8, 1993 Dec.

  7. Nitrate levels in community drinking waters and risk of IDDM. An ecological analysis. Kostraba JN. Gay EC. Rewers M. Hamman RF. Diabetes Care 15(11):1505-8, 1992 Nov.

  8. Increasing incidence of early onset type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus: a study of Danish male birth cohorts. Green A. Andersen Diabetologia 35(2):178-82, 1992 Feb.

  9. The incidence of male childhood type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus is rising rapidly in The Netherlands. Drykoningen CE. Diabetologia 35(2):139-42, 1992 Feb.


Original posting 11 Nov 96


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